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In the title compound, C10H7Br5O, prepared by bromination of 5-methoxyindane, all bond lengths and angles are in the usual ranges. However, the relatively wide range of Br-C-C angles [107.2 (5)-117.0 (4)°] in the five-membered ring may indicate repulsion between the neighbouring Br atoms. The crystal packing is stabilized by van der Waals interactions. © 2005 International Union of Crystallography Printed in Great Britain - all rights reserved.